SF Opera and Symphony cancel performances through the end of the year

San Francisco Opera

The San Francisco Opera announced Tuesday that it has canceled its fall 2020 season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The fall season for the opera was scheduled to open on Sept. 11 with an opening night celebration concert, but organizers said current public health information about the virus and state and local guidelines made it impossible to move forward with the season.

There were to be 37 performances of five operas in the season, which was set to run through Dec. 6 at the War Memorial Opera House. Officials with the San Francisco Operas said they are exploring virtual ways to celebrate the traditional opening weekend of the season.

The opera plans to return to the stage for the spring 2021 season as planned on April 25.

Ticketholders for the fall season will be contacted with options, including receiving a full refund, receiving a gift certificate for the value of their tickets, or donating the value of their tickets to the opera. People can also visit https://sfopera.com/fall2020 to select their preferred option.

San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony on Thursday announced it’s canceling all of its concerts at Davies Symphony Hall through the end of the year, as well as other changes, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

All live performances with spectators, including sports games and concerts, have been put off, in accordance with state guidelines that prohibit all live performances until the final stage of the reopening process. Although the city has laid out plans and given tentative dates for the reopening process, the final stage has not been given a tentative date.

In a statement, San Francisco Symphony CEO Mark Hanson lamented the symphony having to postpone the welcoming of its new director Esa-Pekka Salonen.

“While we are deeply disappointed to not present the exciting lineup of live concerts we had planned for Fall 2020, including the start of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s tenure as Music Director and a festival of events featuring our eight Collaborative Partners, we know this action is necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of our orchestra, chorus, staff, and audiences,” Hanson said.

In addition to the cancellation of concerts, in order to further maintain financial stability, Hanson, the symphony’s Board of Governors, staff, members of its orchestra and chorus, and stagehands have agreed to pay cuts for all earning more than $75,000 annually. Additionally, some positions have been eliminated and other furloughed.

Furthermore, the symphony announced it will permanently close its resale shop Repeat Performances, located at 2436 Fillmore St. Symphony officials said closing the store was a “difficult decision.”

However, in the meantime, the symphony will continue showcasing archived and live performances, at both www.sfsymphony.org/mtt25 or www.youtube.com/sfsymphony.

Ticketholders are being asked to consider donating the cost of their tickets back to the symphony. Ticketholders looking to donate or for a refund can call the box office at (415) 846-6000 or email patronservices@sfsymphony.org by Aug. 31.

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